The three Pulaski County school districts will receive three years’ worth of desegregation payments, plus another year of equal payments for academic facilities only, under an agreement reached between Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office and the school districts, McDaniel told a legislative panel Thursday. McDaniel told the Joint Subcommittee on Desegregation Litigation Oversight that the agreement has not been finalized. However, he did express confidence that the districts’ school boards would agree to the deal.
Wal-Mart net income rises, but guidance lowered
Wal-Mart posted third quarter net income of $3.74 billion, up 2.8 percent compared to the same quarter in 2012. Total revenue was $115.68 billion, up 1.7 percent compared to the 2012 quarter. Same-store sales in the U.S. were down 0.3 percent in the quarter. Wal-Mart officials lowered future earnings guidance based on tougher competition and worries about the economy heading into the holiday shopping season.
Dillard’s lifts revenue, profits in quarter
Dillard’s Inc. grew sales and profits as it heads into the crucial holiday shopping season. The Little Rock-based upscale retailer posted net income of $50.9 million on revenue of $1.51 billion in its most recent third quarter. One year ago, Dillard’s reported net income of $48.5 million on revenue of $1.49 billion. Same-store sales during the quarter also pushed higher by one percent.
Arkansas Best grows third-quarter profit
Fort Smith-based trucking and transportation firm Arkansas Best Corp. posted quarterly net income of $13.98 million on revenue of $623.41 million. One year ago, Arkansas Best showed $6.52 million in profits on revenue of $577.55 million. On October 30, the company announced ratification of a revised labor contract with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with savings from wage and benefit reductions possibly helping the company to avoid three consecutive years of losses.
Heifer International assessing typhoon damage in Philippines
Little Rock-based international hunger relief organization, Heifer International, reports that its field staff in the Philippines are all accounted for and it is working to assess damage to five field projects in the region. Last week, killer Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc on the Asian-Pacific island nation. With 230 mph winds and storm surges topping 10 feet, the storm may have killed as many as 10,000 in its total path.
Baptist Health signs long-term lease with Malvern hospital
Baptist Health announced that it will begin a long-term lease agreement with Hot Spring County Medical Center in Malvern, on Jan. 1, 2014. At that time, the hospital will be named Baptist Health Medical Center-Hot Spring County and will become Baptist Health’s eighth hospital. Hot Spring County Medical Center is a community-based hospital with about 360 employees and is licensed for 72 acute-care beds.
Health insurance enrollment just 250
Through Wednesday, only 250 Arkansans have been able to successfully enroll through the new health insurance portal at healthcare.gov, according to state officials. As many as 500,000 citizens may qualify for the health insurance offerings the troubled website may offer.
“We would have hoped that there were more people able to get all the way through the system,” said Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford. “That start up was as rough as it could possibly be. We were more or less shocked that the system wasn’t working properly.”
Roby Brock, a freelance journalist based in Little Rock, writes weekly for the Arkansas News Bureau. His weekly television program airs at 10 p.m. Sundays in Central and Northwest Arkansas.